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A Charles County jury convicted a federal police officer of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl after a three-day trial last week, Charles County State’s Attorney Anthony B. Covington reported.

Accused of soliciting the girl via text message and having sex with her, Clayton Calvin Griffin Jr., 43, of Waldorf was indicted in December on 20 total counts of second-degree rape, sexual child abuse, sexual solicitation of a minor and sex offense covering a minimum of six separate incidents.

A police officer with the Federal Protective Service, which polices and provides security at federal buildings and facilities, Griffin was arrested in November after a woman told school officials that the girl, her daughter’s friend, had said she was having sex with Griffin, according to a press release.

The girl testified during the trial, which began May 14, that Griffin had sex with her several times. She said she told a few people about the interactions, including her sister and best friend.

The woman who reported Griffin and her daughter both testified as well. The daughter said the abused girl told her about the encounters with Griffin, the release states. The woman said she first learned of the abuse from her daughter, but spoke to the victim before alerting authorities.

Prosecutors also presented the jury with text message exchanges between Griffin and the girl, including messages where Griffin told the girl that he “always” used contraception when he had sex with her. Griffin also told the girl to delete his text messages.

Griffin’s attorneys argued that the girl was not a credible witness, but Assistant State’s Attorney Tiffany Rodenberger pointed out that the child’s diary included references to the abuse as it occurred.

The jury, which deliberated for five hours Wednesday before handing down its verdict, found Griffin guilty of sexual child abuse, sexual solicitation of a minor and third-degree sex offense.

Covington said in the release that he was “pleased that the jury saw through the convenient excuses and explanations the defendant offered in his defense.”

“This defendant engaged in despicable acts and the jury obviously saw it for what it was,” he added.

Griffin faces a total of 55 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for July 17.

jnewman@somdnews.com